Stars and Pinwheels QAL – Block 8 – Christmas Pinwheel Star

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This is block 8 in Susan’s Stars and Pinwheels QAL called Christmas Pinwheel Star.

https://desertskyquilts.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/stars-pinwheels-qal-christmas-pinwheel-star/

Since I’m making a small project each month with the featured block, I decided to use this block in a cover for a lumbar cushion.  Because the cushion is curved, it’s difficult to cover and I used a lined 30 inch x 10-½ inch panel with Velcro on either end to fit over the center of the cushion.

I reduced the size of the pattern to 8-½ inches unfinished (2.5 and 3.5 inch squares) and added borders plus some longer pieces for the cover to join in the back.

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I thought this was a very pretty block and it was easy to put together with half-square triangles.

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Pillows for a Doll Rocker

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Last Saturday, my daughter and I visited a favorite antique mall, Venice Pavilion Antique Mall in Ross, Ohio (near Cincinnati).  I have been on the lookout for a small doll’s bed to display some mini quilts.  I didn’t find a bed but I did find this really nice wide rocker for only $6.50.   It measures 7-1/2 inches wide x 9 inches high
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As soon as I got home, I made up a pillow with a Thanksgiving theme.

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It was a cute pillow but I really wanted one that was wider.  I found four 3-½ inch blocks that I had paper-pieced 6 or 7 years ago.  With a few strips as borders, they turned out to be the exact size I needed.  This is confirmation of my old argument that if you keep something long enough, some day you’ll find a use for it.  All of the blocks were patterns from my Electric Quilt software (#5 at that time).  This one is called Bird of Paradise.

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This pattern is called Lucky Star

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I couldn’t find my file with the name for this block, but I like the blue fabrics.

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This block is called Jack’s Delight and shows an advantage the rocker has over a bed – the space to display small items on the seat.

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The best use may be as a comfortable resting place for my doll Emily who is wearing a doll dress made by my mother out of one of my dresses almost 80 years ago.

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Vintage Embroidery

Whenever my two daughters and I get together, they always pull out some kind of handwork to do – knitting, crocheting, embroidery, tatting.  Since I’ve always done my piecing and quilting by machine, I rarely have something to work on.  I decided to try some very simple embroidery using vintage 1930s-40s style patterns.  They are easy enough for my limited skills and I like the patterns which remind me of the embroidery all of the women in my family were doing in that era.  My daughter and I have a large collection of vintage patterns and I’ve been able to add patterns from some good online sites.

I embroider the panel (usually 8-½ x 8-½ inches) and then use scraps to make up something useful.  I don’t want to gather a drawer full of embroidered squares, so unless it’s a seasonal pattern, I make it up quickly.  Another goal of mine this year has been to eliminate bags of small scraps – smaller than 4×4 inches – and I’ve managed to do that.  The only fabric I’ve bought up to this point is some good off-white fabric for embroidery and to use to assemble the scrap blocks.  Here are some of the items I’ve finished this summer:

A cushion set for my vintage folding chair ….

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A small wall hanging of an old kitchen stove …

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A pillow with a design I adapted from an old postcard …
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A wall hanging with a crow and sunflower center.  I hand quilted around this design and machine quilted the remainder of the hanging.
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A table pad with a Mexican theme …

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I still have a stack of completed embroidered panels to use.

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Here are some links to free vintage embroidery patterns:

http://mytransfers.blogspot.com/
http://www.patternbee.com/FREEPATTERNS3.html
http://www.french-knots.com
http://www.needlecrafter.com

Click on photos to enlarge.

 

 

Vintage Scenes Scrap Wall Hanging

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I’m still working on my goals for this year of using up all of the small scraps I have.  I found a lot of fussy-cut scraps from some material I bought 5 years ago to make this apron which won a blue ribbon at our county fair.

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I used a few more pieces in small projects but still had a lot of scraps that I couldn’t bear to throw away.  I used them along with some green/yellow scraps to make this wall hanging.

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I pieced the squares on-point and for the corners found a vintage pillow cover fabric among my scraps to use as corners.

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I still had some odd-shaped pieces of fabric left and put those together with scraps to make a cover for a large cushion.

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I’m down to one large bag of scraps to work with now – brown, tan, and orange shades.  I might make my goal of emptying all of the bags by the end of the year.

A Swan Cushion Set

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A few months ago, I bought a vintage folding chair at an antique store and made a cushion set for it.  I thought it was time to have a change of cushions and looked through my scraps to see what I could come up with.  Recently, I’ve been embroidering in the evening while watching TV.  My embroidery skills demand simple designs with basic stitches.  Actually, I prefer the kind of 1930s-40s embroidery that all of the women in my family did while I was growing up.  This design of a swan holding summer flowers seemed just right for summertime cushions.
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I used a quilt pattern named Children’s Delight from my EQ6 software to make 5-½ inch blocks. The pillow measures 17×17 inches.  When assembling the top cushion, I added a 15 inch piece of 2-½ inch elastic on the back to hold it in place while on the chair.

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I made an unquilted fabric seat cushion to keep the focus on the top cushion with the swan.
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I had just put the finished set on the chair and left to get my camera.  When I came back to the room, I found that Addie loves the new cushions.

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Lone Starburst–Free Paper-Piecing Pattern

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LONE STARBURST – FREE PATTERN

Last week, Craftsy featured a free paper-pieced pattern called Lone Starburst.

http://bit.ly/1mmTa0H

There are no directions given but it’s an easy 12-½ -inch unfinished block for anyone with basic paper piecing skills.  If I make another one, I won’t use the lighter prints in the star. I added a narrow border to make a cushion cover.  I did not use batting or quilt this piece…

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…and used the leftover scraps to make the back.

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Paper piecing is time-consuming but interesting and produces designs that would be difficult for me to make otherwise.  Using a free pattern and some scraps, I have a nice cushion for the recliner.

A Vintage Chair with Cushions

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I’ve been wanting an extra chair that I could  bring into the living room when I have company.  Normally, I only sit comfortably in one corner of my couch and I really needed that space for guests, so I was looking for a lightweight chair that would fold and store easily, and also that was configured to my particular back problems.  I found just the right chair in an antique mall.  I estimate it to be 1930s era (the same as I am), it folds, is lightweight and is made of a vintage wood that looks nice in the living room.  The only thing I didn’t like was a recent canvas strip seat replacement that was bright orange.  Naturally, the orange peeped out from under any cushion I used.

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I solved this problem by buying a remnant piece of heavy, dark brown flannel and cutting/hemming two strips that would cover the orange material.  For right now, I’m just pinning the underside of the strips and when I’m sure they’re the way I want them, I’ll hand stitch with a heavy-weight thread.

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I had recently made a couple of 16-inch cushions, using up scraps, and they work out well for the chair.

The top cushion is a Variable Star block from my EQ6 software and a small embroidered panel.
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The bottom cushion is a pattern called Delft Star from Judy Martin’s Stars and Sets software.
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I believe I have exactly the chair I needed and I’ll have fun making up different pillow sets.

Star Cluster Block

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One of my Mother’s Day gifts from my son and daughter-in-law in St. Louis was a two-yard length of some exciting fabric.  I love the silhouettes of a hometown marching band with exploding fireworks (click on photo to see fabric design).
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I used 1-½ yards to make myself a patriotic coverall apron with a nice big pocket.

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I used the remainder to make a pillow and desk mat.  Judy Martin (my favorite designer) had a BOM on her website called Star Cluster which I thought would work well with the fabric.  I used the marching band fabric along with red/white/blue scraps to make a 16 inch block which became a pillow …
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…and two 12-inch blocks for a large mat for my father’s 1940s-era homemade desk.
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Like all of Judy’s designs, she has taken an easy pattern and added her own twists to make it unique.

Thank you to my St. Louis family for a gift that multiplied itself into three nice items.

 

Super Stars and Sofa Cushions

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Wedding Dress Blue has an interesting quilt-along and tutorial for an easy version of the Lemoyne Star called Super Star that is fun and quick to put together.  Click here for her tutorial.  I have a large, deep-seated sofa that requires large cushions behind my back if my feet are going to touch the floor.  I had salvaged two large foam cushions from a discarded couch and the 16-inch star was perfect when I added some strips and additional half-squares to make the block larger.  I made the block for the front and back of each cushion and chose not to quilt the covers which will have to be laundered frequently.

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I used only scraps in these two cushion covers, including a large bag of white scraps I had bought last fall in Ohio Amish country.

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I made a total of 80 half-squares that were 2-½ inches and for this many pieces, I turned to my Wonder Cut Ruler which made quick work of them.

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I also used scraps for the side sections, cutting 6-inch wide strips of various lengths of fabric.
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I had salvaged two long zippers from the original cushions and didn’t have to buy anything to complete the project.

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My dog, Addie, wondered when I was going to be finished taking pictures so I could fill her dinner bowl and also when I was going to get out of the way so she could get back to her favorite spot on the couch.

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Springtime Mantel and Cushion Cover

Desert Sky Quilts has a great quilting blog which includes tutorials for some blocks she designed.  I liked her Indestructible Star and tried it using her instructions for a 12-1/2 inch unfinished block.  I added a border and ruffles to make a nice cushion cover.

(http://desertskyquilts.livejournal.com/)

I thought this would be a good pattern to use with scraps for a springtime mantel cover.  For this cover I reduced the blocks to 6-1/2 inches.

For the length I wanted, I made 5 blocks using scraps of a different coordinating color for each.

I added setting and corner triangles along with a border and a plain piece of fabric for the top of the mantel.

I didn’t want to use batting and placed the backing right sides together with the block portion and sewed around the edges, leaving an opening on the back edge.  The piece was turned and pressed, then I used a minimum amount of machine stitching to hold the back and front together and top stitched around the edge.

I like the cover very much – cheerful and spring-like.

This cover measures 19-1/2 x 43-1/2 inches.